Architecture / February 2, 2018 / .
In many ways, designing and building a home is very complicated. But in at least one way, it is very straightforward. A house cannot be a dream home unless you fully understand the clients needs. Every luxury home should be unique to its occupants. When designing a home, start with asking a lot of questions. Talk with them, listen to their needs, understand their wants, and help to translate those into a design and plan. Questions about how you live day-to-day in your home are the key. From the answers to these questions, we will create a list of priorities, which we then work with to determine what the right size and level of quality needs to be.
The availability, location and capacity of existing utilities must be considered in the design. Connecting to these may involve significant costs particularly where they are inconveniently located or are distant from the site. For example septic tanks or pumping plant may be required to drain a site, easements may be required to cross neighbouring land, and diversions of live services may be required to accommodate the development.
The choice of the architect as lead designer is a key decision on any project and will reflect the clients priorities, particularly those related to cost and quality. Clients who plan to develop high quality or landmark developments often employ high profile design practices. Indeed internationally acclaimed architects including Daniel Liebskind, Santiago Calatrava and Dublin-born Pritzker prize-winning Kevin Roche have completed projects in Dublin in the recent past. The leading Irish architectural practices are likewise normally in high demand and clients are keen to buy into their signature. High expectations are usually linked to high prices and such clients will expect to pay a premium on prestigious projects. Nevertheless, they may not be prepared to provide total carte blanche to the architect. Architects, quite naturally, may be reluctant to drop quality standards and compromise their brand to reduce costs and it may difficult for the quantity surveyor to control costs in these circumstances. In this regard Ashworth refers to a cynic who described architecture as the design of beautiful buildings that satisfy only the architect and not the client. At the other end of the cost spectrum a client may require a practical, nononsense design to accommodate a production process. Such designs are often developed by architects operating within a design and build arrangement where providing an economic design is essential to winning the contract.
Many construction projects involve the design and construction of a building which is tailored to meet the clients specific requirements. No two construction projects are identical - there is no such thing as the average building project. The cost of the building will depend on its particular characteristics and these are largely determined by the architect. The design options are almost limitless and the resulting costs can be difficult to forecast reliably in many cases. On the other hand, certain types of buildings such as schools have well established cost histories and are usually subject to a cost limit.